Istanbul, modern day Constantinople is one of the most beautiful cities which I’ve visited. It’s quite a big city to explore, so when you visit, make sure to allot at least three full days. Istanbul is situated between two continents! Yes, you’ve read that right, two continents! ASIA and EUROPE to be specific and it is separated by the Bosphorus River. This Turkish City is one of the easiest cities in Europe to get in to, as it is one of the biggest aviation hub in both Europe & Asia and there are lots of flights from almost any parts of the world flying to or through here.
The two main airports in Istanbul are Ataturk Airport and Sabiha Gocken Airport. Istanbul’s old town in its Euro-side can be reached within 30-minutes from Ataturk Airport and 2-hours if you’re coming from Sabiha Gocken Airport. There are actually multiple shuttle buses from these airports going to Istanbul’s Euro-side which departs every 30 minutes. And the best thing about these shuttle-buses is that it stops near Taksim Square where you can start your stroll around the old town!
Below are some of the best things to see and do when in Istanbul!
Taksim Square is the most famous square in Istanbul, it is one of the main gateways to Istanbul’s magnificent streets and avenues. Here you can spend a good 20 minutes for photos. You can also buy some bird-feedS from some of the local vendors in the square if you want to feed the thousands of pigeons roaming on the square, trust me, it’s therapeutic!
So after spending some time in Taksim Square, you can directly head to Istiklal Avenue from there, you just need to follow the railway from the square stretching all the way to Istiklal Avenue . In my opinion, I think Istiklal Avenue is the most beautiful avenue in Istanbul and one of the best in the whole world. Here you can walk past hundreds of cafes and shops. It is estimated that there are about three-million people in total which passes through here in the course of a weekend.
Taksim Nevizade is one of the highlights of Istanbul’s nightlife. It is the Red Light District in Istanbul. You can find it in the middle of Istiklal Avenue. Just enter the alley beside MAC Cosmetics Shop in the middle of Istiklal and there you can find the Nevizade. Here you can enjoy a great local beer and lots of amazing Turkish Cuisines.
Galata Tower is a medieval stone watch tower built centuries ago. It is situated at the other end of Istiklal Avenue. You can climb the tower to get a magnificent view of Istanbul. Tip: Head there in the morning to avoid long queue during busy hours. You know what they say, you have never actually been to Istanbul if you didn’t have any photo of Galata Tower in the background.
BOSPHORUS RIVER CRUISE
After exploring the streets of Istanbul, head over to the Bosphorus River Bank and get yourself a Bosphorus River Cruise Ticket! Your Istanbul trip wouldn’t be complete without going on a Bosphorus River Cruise. This is the best option if you want to witness the real beauty of both Istanbul’s Europe and Asian side from the middle of the Bosphorus.
THE BLUE MOSQUE AND HAGIA SOPHIA
The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are some of the most beautiful pieces of architectures in this modern world. These structures were built during the Byzantine Era, so imagine how much history these places have. They are both located on Istanbul’s European Side, so when exploring the old town, make sure to include these in your itinerary. The two are just situated quite near to each other.
ISTANBUL GRAND BAZAAR
According to wikipedia.com, the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops on a total area of 30,700 m2, attracting between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors daily. Must be quite an attraction! So why not include it on your list of places to visit when in Istanbul!
Have you been to Istanbul? How was your experience? Share it with us through the comment section below!